Happy Christmas. You'll be glad to hear that my Christmas cacti are now dripping with pink buds and the geraniums on my frost-free balcony continue to bloom spectacularly. I've decorated my flat by draping the usual fairy lights down the hallway, and your fibre optic Christmas tree is busy changing colour on the dining table. I've now received 16 Christmas cards, which isn't a very impressive total given that I'm planning on sending out about 70, and it's probably at least a hundred less than you've got by now. Thanks for your homemade Christmas card which is now sitting in pride of place on the TV. You'll be pleased to know that my homemade Christmas card to you is already in the post, although it was particularly naughty of David Blunkett to resign while my card was at the printers.
Life at work continues to be manic. The low point was two weeks ago when I missed the company's Christmas party (free bar, sit-down meal and a tentful of entertainment) because I was too busy working for the company. Thankfully I've not had to work as late as half past nine again, but I'm still the mug who's sat in work at 8am and 8pm while everyone else swans off at what used to be my normal leaving time and manages to have a life. At least I'm finally due more than a fortnight off work after I crawl home tonight, which'll give me a chance to drink normal tea again during daylight hours if nothing else.
My new passport arrived in the mail yesterday. They sent the old one in a separate envelope, and my local postman somehow managed not to steal either of them. I reckon the new photo almost looks like me, certainly more than the last one from ten years ago, but you'd probably prefer the set of photos I couldn't use because there was too much white background and not quite enough of my face. It felt odd seeing an expiry date of 'Feb 15' at the back of the passport and realising that they meant 2015, not the day after Valentine's Day. At least this means I'm not due to be getting an ID-chipped biometric replacement until I'm 50.
I hope you're both well. Sorry that you couldn't both make it down to London for the 'annual' day of Christmas shopping this year. To be honest, Mum, I'm dead impressed that you can make it as far as the village shop after your hip operation last month. I'll pencil in a quality festive shopping day sometime next year instead. And I'll see you both next week.